BCS ratings: Notre Dame-SEC

Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide are two wins away from a return trip to the title game. (Getty Images)

Notre Dame is No. 1 in the BCS standings for the first time ever, and it's nearly unanimous.  Only a handful of voters did not put the Irish at the top of their ballots and the are no. 1 in every computer.

Alabama and Georgia are right behind, and of course, they are on track to play each other for the SEC title.

Florida ranks fourth, but doesn't seem to have much hope to play for the title.  They are comfortably behind Oregon in the polls, although they are a strong computer team.  However, if it came down to it, I would be surprised if voters suddenly got on board with the Gators, and might go away from them to avoid an all-SEC title game.

Oregon is fifth, not far behind the Gators.  The voters were kind to the Ducks, leaving them fourth in both polls.  The computers are still not their friend, but if they can get to 12-1 (and they don't control that), they'll make up some ground.

Kansas State stayed sixth, despite falling to seventh in the Harris poll and eighth, behind LSU, in the coaches' poll.  They would have to be considered something of a longshot to get back to the title game if something opened up, but if voters want a conference champion, they are the only one-loss team behind the top three that controls its own destiny for that.

Stanford moved up to no. 8, which is good.  It might mean that they could survive a loss to UCLA this week and still be in the BCS at-large pool.  Of course, the Cardinal has bigger goals than that.

Florida State, essentially tied with Florida in the polls, is still 18th in the computers.  18th!!  Even if they beat Florida, I don't see how the numbers give them any hope at the national title game.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Jerry Palm started writing about sports on the Internet right after Al Gore invented it. He was the first to bring RPI out in the open and is one of the pioneers of predicting the March Madness bracket.... Full Bio

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